Jane Lane

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Jane Lane
Jane.gif
First appearance Esteemsters
Last appearance Is It College Yet?
Voiced by Wendy Hoopes
Episode count 65 (all)
2 TV movies
Information
Gender Female
Age 16-18
Occupation Student at Lawndale High
Student at Boston Fine Arts College (by the end of the show)
Family Vincent Lane (father)
Amanda Lane (mother)
Trent Lane (brother)
Penny Lane (sister)
Wind Lane (brother)
Summer Lane (sister)
Adrian (nephew)
Courtney (niece)
Significant other(s) Evan (romantic interest)
Tom Sloane (ex-boyfriend)
Nathan (ex-boyfriend)


Jane Lane is a fictional character created for the MTV animated series Daria. In the show, Jane was Daria's best (and only) friend (or amiga, as Jane once referred to Daria) and as of the show's final season was aged 18 years. She lives at 111 Howard Drive in Lawndale, and graduated from the local high school, Lawndale High. She is an aspiring artist and has created many unusual paintings, drawings, and sculptures. Like Daria, Jane too is cynical with a biting wit, but is better adjusted and somewhat more outgoing.

In the first season, Jane's voice was lower and gravelly, and she usually spoke in a mutter. She would go on to have a louder, more expressive voice.

In the MTV book, The Daria Diaries, Jane's motto is quoted as: "Every cloud has a smoky gray lining."


I like having low self esteem. It makes me feel special.

—Jane, Esteemsters,



Personal History[edit]

Jane enjoys O'Neill's class ("Daria Dance Party")

Early history about Jane's life that was revealed during the show is scarce, but there are a few facts that were confirmed:

  • She was, in her prepubescent years, a member of the Girl Scouts, during which time she was forced to attend a nature camping event, a memory she detests. ("Antisocial Climbers")
  • When a young Trent was camping out in the backyard, an even younger Jane was the one delivering him food ("Lane Miserables")
  • "Reburb" says she was Mystik Spiral's Director of Band Graphics "until she got fed up with the whole spiral direction controversy" (i.e. whether the spiral was going in the right direction on the logo).

After starting at Lawndale High, she was sent to the Self Esteem Class. She took the class seven times, allegedly to kill time - Mr. O'Neill didn't recognise her even on her seventh time. It was here she met Daria Morgendorffer, reaching out when Daria challenged the teacher ("He doesn't know what it means").

Planning for an installation ("The Old and the Beautiful")

Daria and Jane were close friends for the rest of high school and as far as we can tell, Daria was Jane's only previous friend. It would be Jane that would often push Daria into doing things, starting with encouraging her to go to Brittany Taylor's party to people-watch in "The Invitation".

Both girls were unpopular outcasts, but in "See Jane Run" and "The F Word", it was shown Jane could be popular: first time from being good at sports, second in very easily getting onto the cheerleading team. The first time round, it's unclear if Jane was interested in the whole social part of being popular (but she definitely enjoyed the perks of being a star athlete). In "The F Word", Jane is genuinely rattled by how easy it was to get on the squad: "It was easy to fit in, too easy. Maybe I really am one of them. ... I have to face my demons, Daria. Maybe I'm not really an artist. Maybe those insipid pom-pom wavers know me better than I know myself." In the end, Jane chose to deliberately sabotage her tryout ("Cheer cheer cheer/Yell yell yell/Who cares who wins/We're all going to Hell!") to get out of the existential crisis so we'll never know how it could've gone.

Jane had her first serious romantic relationship at the age of 17 (or so fans estimate) with Tom Sloane, the only son of a wealthy local family and then a student of Fielding Preparatory Academy. The relationship ended less than a year later when they both realized, amid the controversy over Tom kissing Daria, that it had run its course - something both of them had tried to deny. Daria's betrayal was a bigger blow for her than Tom's, and she spent a chunk of that summer at Ashfield art retreat. Having to run into the snobs, egotists, and exploiters in the art world left her quite bitter, especially Alison who tried to manipulate her into having sex (Alison being older than Jane by a few years), but Jane decided to stick out the last fortnight at Ashfield anyway: "Some kind of dumb-ass notion about seeing this through."

Jane and Tom remain casual friends but are rarely shown talking in fifth-season episodes or the final movie, Is It College Yet?, and when they do it's around Daria.

Jane graduated from Lawndale High and was accepted by Boston Fine Arts College into the midterm freshman class. She had to be pushed to apply by Daria, as she kept trying to blow it off out of fear she wouldn't be accepted. (Earlier, in "Prize Fighters", Jane had been pissy about talk of academic scholarships because these were things she could never apply for) Because the show ended before Jane actually began attending the college, her current status is ultimately unknown, but it is assumed that she still attends the college, socializing with Daria, who attends a college in the same city, on her free weekends. (She'd said in "My Night at Daria's" that she was waiting until then to lose her virginity)

Jane in 2017, by Karen Disher

For the show's 20th anniversary, Susie Lewis explained how she thought the cast had turned out and Karen Disher drew 2017 versions of them for Catching Up With The Daria Gang:

"Daria's closest friend and confidante never gave up on her ambitions: She's a professional artist who's sold a few pieces, though she still hasn't "made it big." She lives in a loft in SoHo with her husband who's an archaeologist and rarely home, so luckily the besties get to spend tons of time together. They enjoy going to art shows and film events where you're supposed to socialize, but — surprise! — they only talk to each other."

Websites[edit]

"Jane" ran several websites on MTV during the show's original run.

Palace of Pixels[edit]

In 1999, she had set up "Jane Lane's Palace of Pixels", which contained wallpapers and the Gourmet's Guide to Pizza Pleasure, a guide to the pizza places "within a 20-mile radius".

Howdy, complete stranger! You have stumbled upon my homepage: a rich melange of sight and sound, word and image, ultimately reduced to soulless, impersonal code.

I have wrestled with my inner demons and endured the pain of self-revelation so that you may be entertained. Van Gogh had his paint, Rodin his clay; I have the icy coldness of the Internet. Excuse me, I have to go smell a crayon.

This page is part of the Genius-In-Waiting Webring.

The pizza rankings were:

"Pizza King 9.7 Perfect cheese-to-crust-to-sauce ratio. Just enough unidentifiable burnt things.

"Pizza Palace 8.5 Outstanding mozzarella stretch. Wobbly tables mar otherwise yummy experience.

"Pepe's Pizza 8.0 Creates bright orange oil puddles on paper plate. Visually exciting!

"Three Brothers Pizza 5.0 Skimpy on the oregano. Poorly rendered gondola mural may depress appetite.

"Jo-Jo's 4.5 Fancy brick oven place. Overly friendly waiters point scary pepper mills at patrons. Offers cheeseless pizza, a foul desecration.

"Two Brothers Pizza 3.2 Could use another brother -- slices 20 percent smaller than average. And they get testy when you pull out the tape measure. Lots of pictures of actors no one's ever heard of.

"Pizza Forest 2.0 Annoying people in animal suits just stand there when you hit them with the menu. Pizza tastes like frozen supermarket kind, only worse."

LaneBay[edit]

In 2000 (Wayback links may no longer work), she started the auction site "LaneBay": "the web's first family-style online art auction. Since Mom and Dad often forget to pay the mortgage, it may be the only way I can hold onto my garret."

Likes and Dislikes[edit]

Jane working on a painting ("Jake of Hearts")

Jane's primary interest is art; she enjoys creating, painting, sculpting, drawing and sketching. Her favourite type of art tends to be the surreal and macabre, and in the IIFY "Post-Movie Chat" said her favourite artists were "I like anyone who has exhibited anguish- if you cut an ear off, that's also a plus".

She also has a vague interest and substantial talent for running, in which she usually participates when emotionally overwhelmed. Her favorite food is pizza and her favorite television show is fictional oddity news program Sick, Sad World.

Jane's only real dislikes are materialism, conventionalism and commercialism, all of which her personality overtly disowns as components of a society and as social expectations. "The F Word" shows that Jane could be great at conventionalism and fitting in, but she deliberately stays on the outside.

Jane also has a dislike for math and struggles to pass it ("Gifted", "See Jane Run"). Her academic performance in other subjects is never made clear, but it is implied that she is less successful than Daria or Jodie ("Gifted", "Prize Fighters"). In his praise for the series, the Nostalgia Critic referred to her as a "straight C student", but in fact she was only ever referred to as having straight Cs in mathematics.

Jane and Daria[edit]

Sometimes I wonder if you're too cynical, even for me.

—Daria, actually making Jane feel unsure. Depth Takes a Holiday,


Jane Lane (on right) with Daria (on left).



Jane is the first and only friend Daria has ever made, by Daria's own admission. Despite her history of deliberately isolating people and walling herself off, she almost immediately befriended Jane after the girl showed a similar cynical sense of humour. In "The Daria Diaries", she early on described Jane as "snide, resentful, and anti-social. Finally, a friend."

In "Is It Fall Yet?", Daria admitted to admiring and liking Jane's aura of confidence: "you know exactly who you are, and nobody's ever going to con you into thinking you don't." Ironically, at that point Jane had indeed been left confused by her sexuality after Alison deliberately confused her; Jane didn't admit this to Daria, instead enjoying the compliment.

"Hi, I'm Daria, go to hell"

Jane and romance[edit]

In a contrast to Daria, Jane has openly sought after men and been openly sought out by them. In "The Invitation" and "Daria Dance Party", when noticed by boys at social functions, she tried to get Daria to go along with it too.

In "The Invitation", Jane went off to the "make-out room" with a boy dubbed "Bobby Bighead" that she'd only just met. To her dismay, he was a rubbish kisser.

In both "See Jane Run" and the later "Life in the Past Lane", Jane ended up getting involved in new pursuits - the track team and retro-swing - because of a guy, and got defensive when criticised. Both relations lasted a few weeks but showed an unfortunate trend of Jane's: she can pick total jerks. In Evan's case, when he showed he looked down on Daria and thought Jane shouldn't hang with "losers", she instantly cut him off. Almost two years later, with Nathan, she initially put up with his bursts of control freak tendencies and his obsessions over being a retro 'purist'. After he got too aggressive and obsessive with it, she broke up with him.

Her longest relationship so far has been with Tom Sloane, who she met in "Jane's Addition". The relationship begun to decline after a few months but neither Jane nor Tom would break it off - and while still dating Jane, he kissed Daria, a situation that caused months of tension between the girls.

In "My Night at Daria's," Jane remarked that she planned to lose her virginity at 11 a.m. on her first day at college.

Glenn Eichler said in a June 2005 interview that Jane could be "straight and [bi]curious," and left open the door to speculation for either character.

Family[edit]

La Casa Lane: Where Jane and Trent were raised. By each other.

Virtual Lawndale,


Jane is surprised to see her mother's in the house; also pictured, her brother Trent ("Lane Miserables").



Jane's parents are Vincent and Amanda Lane, two artistic personalities with a very relaxed, uninvolved approach to parenting. Jane is surprised when she sees her mother is home, and is visibly annoyed when she does her "if you hold a butterfly" speech on parenting; despite this, she shrugs off her parents style as "benign neglect that's served us well" and never acts bothered about their absence.

Instead of summer camp, she spent one or more summers at a commune with her parent's friends. Sack-making and composting were involved. ("Camp Fear")

Jane is the youngest of the Lane family, her older siblings being, in ascending order, Trent, Penny, Wind, and Summer Lane. Trent is a perpetually lazy grunge rock musician who performs in the garage band Mystik Spiral; Penny, a disillusioned backpacker with a fondness for animals; Wind, an emotionally damaged three-time divorcee, and Summer, a worn-out mother of four, including Jane's niece Courtney and nephew Adrian who frequently run away from home. Jane has said ("Pinch Sitter") she's had to babysit Courtney and Adrian, and invented a game called Cemetary for them (the first person to move or make a sound loses).

Jane has a very bad relationship with Grandma Lane, who is pissed off with her for no apparent reason.

In an internal production bio for Jane, seen in the Complete Animated Series DVD, it's mentioned: "It might be funny if she came from a super-rich, absentee family, and she and Daria always came up with ways to scam money for their hare-brained schemes". The "absentee" part was kept, the wealth part was dropped.

Jane and Trent[edit]

Jane and Trent were the only two Lanes residing in the Lane household for the duration of the series, with her relying on him for lifts, favours, and support. She's often amused or irritated by Trent's laziness and habit of practicing really loudly. In times of crisis, Jane turns to Trent for help or support, and he's shown a sharp insight when it comes to serious problems with her.

When Jane was applying for college, Trent took a passive-aggressive approach to it and referred to it as selling out; he later admitted he was just upset about losing Jane. She reassured him that just because she was moving out, it didn't mean he'd "get out" of being her brother. With her now in Boston, it is presumed that Trent is now living alone in the house but still with a firm loving relationship with his sister Jane.

How much money does Jane have?[edit]

Fandom has often assumed that Jane grew up poor, due to the state of her house, Trent's decrepit van and recurring money troubles, and primarily a moment in "The Daria Diaries" where Daria records that she helped Jane barricade out the bank over a missed mortgage payment. Certainly, Jane does not have the same stereotypically upper-middle class home life Daria does. In "Art Burn", Jane has to raise the money for gazebo repairs because Trent has not a thing and isn't likely to have anything. Fandom has run with this, giving Jane a hard-scrabble life and increasingly comparing her with the more comfortable Daria.

On the other hand, Jane's parents are constantly on far-flung trips and in "The Daria Diaries" and "The Daria Database", the issue seems less they can't pay the mortgage and more they forget to. When it comes to college, Jane never implies that she might not be able to afford it, not even in "Is It College Yet?" (a plotline that does show up for Mack) and "College Bored" has Jane daydreaming about the money her parents have saved for higher ed. This would indicate the family does actually have money, but little of it is being spent on house maintenance or day-to-day things.


Fanfic Stereotypes[edit]

Grandmaster Jane[edit]

Jane is often portrayed in Daria fanfic as an unrecognized artistic genius, a theme she herself feeds into (e.g., her daydream in the episode, "College Bored"). It is not uncommon to read stories in which Jane manages to sell her artwork for large sums of money and gain considerable media attraction as well. In Wouter's comic "Brushed off" Jane is depicted owning a loft which she uses as both her workshop and her living quarters. Later in that story she is seen welding, sculpting, spray painting and painting traditionally, her work being displayed in an exhibit called "Tools of the trade".

Jane's art loft in "Brushed off"

Lesbian Jane[edit]

Just friends, honest ("Daria!")


Thanks to Jane's close friendship with Daria—which, curiously, was not destroyed by the "Tom Triangle"—and her interaction with Alison in Is It Fall Yet?, Jane is sometimes developed as a bisexual or lesbian character, with interests in either Daria, Quinn, or Alison as female partners. The TV show's creators even play into this idea, with Glenn Eichler speculating in an interview that Jane might be "straight and curious." (See also Slash)

Yenta Jane[edit]

This stereotype was much more common in fan fiction written before "Jane's Addition." This interpretation of Jane was derived from the fact that in the first three seasons Jane would tease Daria about her obvious crush on Trent. 'Shipper fan fiction writers took the next step in having Jane be an active participant in bringing Daria and Trent together, with Jane sometimes going to extremes. This stereotype was called "Yenta Jane," after the matchmaker character from Fiddler on the Roof.

A highly vicious piss take of this trope was Smijey's Day of the Yenta.

Lonely Jane[edit]

Jane appears to have had no friends before Daria arrived, but still seems to be more outgoing and functional than Daria herself. In this trope, writers assume Jane - as with Daria - had a very grim, lonely time at school until Daria arrived, and may go into detail. Stories using this trope include "The Last Days of Solitude" by Jon Kilner and the second 'book' of "Smoking Mirror" by The Angst Guy.

Jane's initial design dating to 1995, from the Complete Animated Series DVD
Jane's second design, from the Complete Animated Series DVD

Misc. Trivia[edit]

  • In the Latin American dubbing, she was voiced by Gisela Casillas.
  • Jane's love of running started in "The Misery Chick", where she goes running to avoid dealing with problems - but a cut line in the script is "I hate running", revealing it was only ever an excuse.

External links[edit]